This tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US on 9/11 fills everyone who witnessed them with a sense of grim remembrance, from constant replays on television news and accounts of individual memories of the events on that day.
I can remember very clearly where I was. It was the first day of the new term at Bramley Sunnyside Junior School, which had started late because of delayed building work at the school over the summer. The day was given over to prepping the classrooms and buildings before pupils came back on the 12th and I had gone out to “Milnes” hardware shop in Maltby to buy some baskets for desks. I can recall quite distinctly looking through the baskets while another customer was telling one of the shop assistants what had happened in New York.
Having been to New York, having been to the top of the south tower in 1995, I had a particular fondness for the place. Sleek, minimalist design but somehow projecting an enormous (and somewhat Freudian) sense of power and wealth and might. So to watch it destroyed by hijacked planes, tumbling to dust in 10 seconds, brought an emotional response as one who had lived and worked in New York, among New Yorkers. Tracey and I had stood at the bottom of the north tower when we visited New Yok in October 1998.
There is so much horror in that day – the hijackings, the crashes, the destruction of the WTC and part of the Pentagon, the bravery of those on Flight 93 and their deaths, the jumpers from the towers – it’s hard even now to take it in.
Today is a day for remembrance, remembering who were lost on 9/11 – and in the wars since – and remembering a slightly more innocent time.
Let’s hold on to the hope that sometime in the future we can find that innocence once again.